Handling Sewage Backup In Upper Floors
Sewage backups and cleaning can be particularly nasty, especially if they happen in commercial or public buildings. Whether in the basement, the ground floor, or on the upper floor, the stench alone is an unmistakable sign that something bad is brewing up in the washroom.
The problem becomes even more prevalent if it happens on upper floors, indicating that a very nasty disaster is coming up if you don’t do anything about it. Sewage backup on the upper floor indicates that one of your pipes leading downstairs is clogged.
Cleaning it up without the proper equipment and care can increase the pressure on the pipes underneath, causing a nasty explosion (backflow) in the washrooms below, or worse, bursting sewage pipes. In this article, we will review the process of handling sewage back up on upper floors and the following sewage cleanup.
Handling Sewage Backup & Cleanup Effectively
Before we get into the process, it is important to note that cleaning sewage backups on upper floors is not a DIY job. Consult experts immediately, and while you wait, you should take mitigatory action, such as avoiding the use of toilets and ensuring there is no sewage water leakage to other rooms.
Consider these important details:
- Make sure no one uses the affected washrooms, and everyone stays clear of the contaminated area. Quarantine the area right away.
- Open the window, turn on fans, and encourage ventilation immediately.
- Turn the HVAC system off to ensure that mold spores or pathogens don’t get recycled into other rooms.
- Control the humidity level as much as possible to reduce the risk of mold in the water-damaged area.
- If available, splash chlorine bleach around the affected area to limit the spread of sewage bacteria.
- Call 911 Restoration immediately, followed by your insurance company while you wait.
Raw sewage comes with its own set of risks. When on the upper floor, you should avoid the spillage of sewage at all costs. Overflowing water will most likely get absorbed into the drywall and flow downwards into the room(s) below. In Utah, you should call your utility provider immediately if the damage is extensive enough to shut your electricity and gas immediately.
What Sewage Backup Companies Will Do
When the sewage cleanup experts arrive, they will first assess the damage and cause. Sometimes, sewage blockage in upper floors may only be due to hair draining into the pipes. If the blockage is in upper and lower floors alike, there are chances that either something insoluble was thrown into the line or a tree root has made its way into the pipes.
Salvaging your belongings on upper floors is easier than flooding in the basement, provided the water damage is limited to the upper floor only. If there are any consumable goods that may have come in direct contact with the water, do not try to salvage them.
Once the damage has been diagnosed (which usually takes no more than 5-10 minutes), the restoration process begins. Our experts quite literally ‘dive’ into the core of the issue to fix it up, whether it involves getting our hands dirty from the inside or opening your pipeline up and using specialized equipment to clear the debris inside.
Sewage backups can get very hard to clean if the blockage is further in from the opening. Sometimes a drain snake may be enough to clear the line, but there are several other methods that we can use as well (depending on the severity and depth of the blockage). These include:
- Hydro jetting
- Pipe replacement
- Drain augers
- Decalcifying, and more.
Signs of Sewage Backup In Upper Floors
One of the first places where sewage water starts backing up is usually the basement. A prime example o this is the slow drainage you may start experiencing when your septic tank is full. However, if you find that your basement drains are functioning properly but the upper floor plumbing isn’t, know that there is a blockage in the pipes and expect a sewage backup.
When you notice this or any of the following signs of sewage backup, call 911 Restoration experts for help right away.
- Foul smells from the drain(s)
- Bubbling when you flush
- Water overflowing from drain pipes
- Strange noises from drains while draining
The guidelines mentioned above are suitable for mitigating damage only. Fixing the issue isn’t a DIY task, so we recommend you don’t embark on the venture on your own. Remember, even the smallest injuries when working with sewage water can lead to life-threatening infections, so don’t take any chances.
The sewage backup and cleanup teams at 911 Restoration of South Atlanta are IICRC certified and always here to help you handle any type of disaster. If you ever feel the need for our services, give us a call, and we’ll be right over within 45 minutes!